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SOCCER OFF-SCREEN

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MBABANE - Football lovers will not be able to watch their favourite game on television for the time being.

Eswatini Television and Channel yeMaswati crew had a rude welcome on Monday afternoon when they were ordered not to broadcast live feed of the ongoing MTN Premier League games. This transpired at the Mavuso Sports Ground, where the local electronic media crew came armed with their equipment ready to record the double header games first pitting Young Buffaloes and Manzini Wanderers and later on Denver Sundowns and Moneni Pirates.

Order

According to reliable sources, the crew allegedly received an order from representatives of the sponsoring company, MTN Eswatini, and further got a verbal notification from the authorities of the Premier League of Eswatini (PLE). Noteworthy is that the equipment was left stranded on their tripods while the only roving camera at the venue was that of the sponsor. “We were told not to broadcast the MTN League games anymore unless we acquire media rights from MTN,” alleged one of the cameramen, who preferred anonymity. National radio station, Eswatini Broadcasting and Information Services (EBIS) have also not broadcast any of the live games since football resumed as they are also reportedly awaiting the green light from football authorities.

Eswatini TV’s Corporate Affairs Manager Mncedisi Mayisela said nothing formal had been communicated to him but assured the nation of a positive way forward following a proposed meeting with the PLE scheduled for today at 10am. “I only got a call that we were not allowed to shoot but we have a confirmed meeting with the PLE tomorrow (today). PLE has taken a different direction with the live-streaming and it’s all new to us but we trust that all will be okay after the meeting because it’s something we need to sit down and discuss,” said Mayisela.

Prominent

Meanwhile, prominent Director of Channel yeMaswati, formerly known as Channel s, Qhawe Mamba said he was shocked to learn that they were banned from recording the live games, either for live broadcast or their own archives. Mamba said he was still in the dark as they did not get a proper explanation leading to their ban.

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